About This Image
A mysterious image of dark figures, some kneeling and some standing. In the foreground are a kneeling mother and child. They all appear to be barefoot as is the custom sometimes when standing on holy ground. Stamped on verso.
See: Steichen and Sandburg, Family of Man, p.58; Sabine Weiss: Photographies des Annees 50, Tirage d'Epoque, upaginated.
Sabine Weiss (née Weber) was born in born in Saint-Gingolph, Switzerland on July 23, 1924. She took photos starting in 1932 with a simple Bakelite camera. In 1942, she decided to become a photographer, simply because it was what she loved to do. From 1942 until 1945 she worked in Geneva as an apprentice for noted photographer Frédéric Boissonnas, and after this apprenticeship, she received the Swiss qualification in photography in 1945. But in 1946 she abruptly decided to leave the city of her childhood to live in Paris, apparently because of a failed romance.
In Paris she worked for Willy Maywald's studio where she learned fashion, photojournalism and advertising photography. In 1949 she met the painter Hugh Weiss, whom she later married the next year. She joined the Rapho agency and worked for magazines such as Vogue, Life, Holiday, Town and Country, Food & Wine, the New York Times Magazine and Esquire.
Her photographs moved Edward Steichen when preparing his major exhibition "The Family of Man" and he included three of her images in the landmark show.
Weiss became a naturalised French citizen in 1995. Despite her successes and the publication of some 40 books, including Sabine Weiss's 100 photos of press freedom by Reporters Without Borders in 2007, Weiss remains a discreet personality and little known to the general public.
She had a major retrospective at the Jeu de Paume–Château de Tours in 2016, and has been included in many other museum shows.
In 2017, Sabine Weiss donated her entire archive, which contained 200,000 negatives, 7,000 contact sheets, around 2,700 vintage prints and 2,000 late prints, 3,500 prints and 2,000 slides to the Musée de Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Called the last of the "humanists", Weiss once remarked in an interview, "I would like to incorporate everything into an instant, so that the essential of human condition is expressed with minimal means."
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Sale Price $4,900
Medium Silver print
Photo Date 1954 Print Date 1954
Dimensions 8-1/4 x 10-1/4 in. (210 x 260 mm)
Photo Country Portugal
Photographer Country Switzerland